Surgical options for treating cancer include:
Diagnostic surgery: This is done to determine whether a mass is cancerous. Tissue is removed and tested to confirm whether there are cancer cells. Sometimes this is done by inserting a needle into the tumor and drawing out a tissue sample (called fine needle aspiration). In other cases, you may need a surgical lymph node biopsy, which involves removing an entire node and testing it to determine if cancer has spread.
Supportive surgery: Sometimes surgery is required before administering another cancer treatment. For example, you may need to have a port inserted beneath your skin through which you receive chemotherapy.
Staging surgery: This procedure can determine if your cancer has spread and, if so, which body parts are affected.
Curative surgery: This is used to partially or completely remove cancerous tumors.
Palliative surgery: If you have advanced cancer, these procedures can ease pain and improve your quality of life.
Restorative surgery: These procedures are performed after cancer treatment to return your body to its normal appearance. One common type of restorative surgery is breast reconstruction.
Preventive surgery: In this proactive surgery, your doctor will remove suspicious or precancerous tissue before it can become malignant. It can also be used for patients at high risk for developing cancer.
Robotic-assisted surgery: This is a type of surgery that tends to be less invasive than traditional surgery. This minimally invasive surgery doesn’t require a large open incision. That means you’ll likely experience less pain, less damage to healthy tissue, less blood loss and less scarring. Because recovery tends to be quicker, you’ll have a shorter hospital stay and a lower risk of infection. Aurora Health Care was the first health care system in Wisconsin to use the da Vinci® Surgical System, a minimally invasive robotic surgery tool.